MILAN DESIGN WEEK
Design of London 2012 Olympic at Salone del Mobile in Milan
The London 2012 Olympic Torch goes on show at this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan, representing the best of British design, engineering and innovation. Sponsored by UK Trade & Investment, the exhibition at La Triennale di Milano will also includes sketches and models of the Torch, illustrating its development and design evolution. This will be the Olympic Torch’s ‘first relay’ and its first public debut outside of the UK.
Acclaimed London-based designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby were awarded the prestigious honour of designing the Torch, which will be carried across the UK for 70 days leading up to the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics on 27 July.
The Torch’s trilateral form was developed in recognition of a pattern of trinities in the history of the Olympic Games: this is the third time that the Games have been held in London (1908, 1948, 2012); the Olympic motto is ‘faster, higher, stronger’; and the vision of this year’s Games is to unite ‘sport, education and culture’. The shape of the Torch enables easy grip, as does its tactile surface, perforated with 8,000 circles using cutting-edge laser technology. These circles symbolise the 8,000 inspiring individuals who will take part in the Olympic Torch Relay and also create a unique level of transparency in the Torch, where one can see right to the heart of the Flame. Functionally, the circles reduce the Torch’s overall weight and ensure that heat from its Flame is quickly dissipated without being conducted down the handle. This Olympic Torch is one of the lightest ever, crafted from aluminium alloy, which was developed for the aerospace and automotive industries not only for its lightness but also for its tensile strength and heat resistance. It’s been tested to function in high altitudes, sub-zero temperatures and significant winds.
Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby’s innovative design sought to make the most of pioneering production technologies. To demonstrate the industrial excellence available in the UK, LOCOG (The London 2012 Organising Committee) appointed Basildon-based product engineers Tecosim and Coventry-based manufacturers The Premier Group to work with Barber and Osgerby